Archive for the ‘Domestic Violence’ Category

Domestic Violence ACT – Hugely Unpopular

May 31, 2007

While the radical feminists have been trying to shore up support for the tragedy of Indian democracy aka the Domestic Violence Act, the fact is that the general populace is very aware of the pitfalls and the gender skewed law.

Radical Feminists have been making false claims, nothing really unusual about it, that the DV Act is supported by most men and women. The fact is the DV Act is hugely unpopular.

In a survey by Times of India, 87% people said that the Domestic Violence Act will cause Innocent men to suffer. 

Times of India Poll on Domestic Violence

Almost 80% of the people who responded to a Hindustan Times Poll said that the Domestic Violence Law would divide families.

 Hindustan Times Poll on Domestic Violence Act of India

 As recently as May 12, in a research study, Delhiites gave the feminists a crackin’ slap on the face. 61% of them said that DV Act will be misused and about 60% said that it will be misused intentionally. 

[ http://www.hindu.com/2007/05/12/stories/2007051219930300.htm]

Of course, the radical feminists tried to attribute it to the “lack of understanding” of the DV Act !!  I must say that, on the contrary, people have  a very good understanding of the Act and its provisions. This has indeed caught the radical feminists by surprise. While making all the biased laws and while trying to shore up support for them, they forgot to consider one factor – The intelligence of Indian people !!

THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW OF INDIA – A SHIELD OR A SWORD ?

November 10, 2006

Feminist organizations have unequivocally and unanimously hailed the implementation of the Domestic Violence (DV) Act in India. They claim that this law will empower victims and protect them from abuse.

 

Most people in their right state of mind would agree that domestic violence in a relationship is not acceptable. It is only fair that for their own mental and emotional health and for the well-being of the children, that the victims be protected from abusive partners.

 

On the face of it, the law appears to be a blessing for people in abusive or violent relationships.  However, a careful analysis reveals that, under the ploy of “women and children welfare”, this law is yet another misguided attempt to enact legislation to grant women legal supremacy over men and to create a society where men are deprived of their rights.

 

There are three fundamental problems with this law – a) it is overwhelmingly gender biased in favor of women, b) the potential for misuse is astounding and c) the definition of domestic violence is too expansive.

 

The DV act singles out men as perpetrators of domestic violence and assumes that only women are victims. As per this law, only a woman can file a complaint against her male partner. A man, who is a victim of domestic violence, has no rights under this law. The fact is that it has been comprehensively proven in numerous studies [please see references] that women are no less abusive as men in intimate relationships. Giving such sweeping legal powers to women while withholding protection to male victims is tantamount to systematic legal victimization of men. In the western world, the domestic violence laws are gender neutral and provide protection to the victims, both men and women. The fact that the Indian version explicitly prohibits any male victim to seek relief under this law defies all logic and is beyond comprehension.

 

The second significant flaw in this law is that it lends itself to such easy misuse that women will find it hard to resist the temptation to “teach a lesson” to their male relatives and will file frivolous and false cases. A similar trend is already being observed in the case of anti-dowry law (498a), which is being misused to such an extent that the Supreme Court has termed it “Legal Terrorism”. To illustrate how easy it is to misuse the DV law, consider the scenarios below. [She means wife/female live-in partner and he means husband/male live-in partner]

 

a)      If she demands any amount of money from him, for any reason whatsoever, he is legally bound to pay that amount in full, failing which he can be imprisoned. Under the pretext of preventing economic abuse of women, this law legalizes the extortion of money by women. Interestingly, if he asks for money from her, he can be jailed for that as well. Furthermore, he is responsible for paying the rent if the couple resides in a shared rented accommodation.

 

b)      As per the law, she retains the right to the residence. This is a very convenient means of getting control of the house regardless of whether she has any legal right on the property. Moreover, if he is booked under DV, he is responsible for paying the rent as well, even though he may not be allowed to live in the house or he might even be in jail.

 

c)      If she decides not to cook and wishes to eat out in a restaurant everyday, he cannot afford not to oblige, lest he invites the DV provision for “not providing food”, for which he could be jailed.

 

d)      If she has an affair and he tries to prevent her from meeting her lover, he could be punished under the DV act, as he is preventing her from meeting someone.

 

e)      He can be booked under the DV act if she feels that she has been insulted. Insult is a relative term, which is totally left to her discretion. Interestingly, if she insults and abuses him verbally or even physically, he does not have any legal recourse in this law

 

These are just some of the ways in which women can exploit men in a legally permitted manner. The fact that the complaint by a woman will be treated, prima facie, as “true and genuine” opens up a whole new realm of possibilities where innocent men will be accused and implicated in false cases, just because they refuse to give in to her unreasonable demands.

 

Most people readily agree that the law will be misused. Their counter arguments generally are

a)      The number of miuses will be very low OR every law is misused – The objective of any law should be to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The persecution of innocents cannot be justified in any circumstances. As is the case with 498a, this law will be heavily misused in urban India.

 

b)      If she is happy, then why will she file a complaint – Ah ! So, the man exists at the mercy of the woman. If the wife wants to kick out old parents from home or wants to pursue an affair and should the man dare to object, she can get him incarcerated with alacrity. Any law that forcefully subjects a section of a society to conduct as per the pleasure of another section is deemed oppressive and should be vehemently opposed.

 

c)      There are other provisions to deal with the misuse of this law – The fact is that there are other legal provisions to deal with domestic violence as well. If a strict law is made for a specific purpose, then the provisions for dealing with its misuse should be in the law itself.

 

The third major flaw in this law is that it provides an all-encompassing definition of domestic violence and some terms (insults, name calling) are extremely subjective. The radical feminists claim that 70% of women in India face domestic violence which comes as no surprise as even an insult is considered domestic violence.  Interestingly, they are mum on how many indian men suffer domestic violence using the same criteria. This law strikes at the very foundation of marriage by promoting intolerance and litigation for petty domestic disputes. It is universally recognized that from time to time differences arise in a marriage and sometimes people, both men and women, behave in hurtful ways towards each other. Most people, though, are able to work them out and lead a more or less happy life with their loved one. However, this law makes it very easy to escalate the domestic problems in daily life to such a level that it eventually leads to a breakdown in marriage. Once a man has been accused of domestic violence for a something relatively minor (insult), while he might have been subjected to the same treatment from her, he will perpetually feel threatened by his partner and that is the beginning of the end. This law will lead to more divorces, broken homes and the children will pay the ultimate price by getting deprived of a pleasant childhood.

 

There are degrees of domestic violence and not all conflicts in a relationship can be termed as domestic violence. This law trivializes the issue of domestic violence by including minor differences in its realm and by explicitly denying protection to half of the population.

The law in its current form is grossly inadequate to tackle the problem of domestic violence. It imposes a lot of responsibility on men, without giving them rights. On the other hand, it gives lots of rights to women without requiring them to be responsible. At the very minimum, it should be made gender neutral, offering protection to both men and women. Also, provisions for stringent punishments need to be incorporated into the law to prevent misuse. Moreover, the law needs to be made more practical by differentiating between various degrees of conflicts and by unambiguously defining what constitutes domestic violence.

The fact is domestic violence is a serious problem and a neutral and unprejudiced law is needed to protect the genuine victims of domestic violence, irrespective of gender. The perpetrators of domestic violence need to be appropriately punished and dealt with. At the same time, protection cannot be withheld from real victims for any reason whatsoever, least of all their gender. One can be certain that there is something sinister about a law, when it intimidates and instills fear in innocent people. When a person who has not committed any crime, begins to fear punishment under the provisions of a law, it is not a law anymore – it is state sponsored terrorism.

 

 

References

1.      The US Govt. National family violence surveys of 1975 and 1985 (http://www.ejfi.org/DV/dv-21.htm),

2.        Various studies by univ of New Hampshire (http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ipv-violence-by-women.htm)

3.       “When She Was Bad – Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence”, written by Patricia Pearson, a self-described feminist

 

ANTI DOWRY LAW – THE FAMILY BREAKER

November 5, 2006

I was talking to the mother of a close friend, who was looking for a “bahu”(bride) for his son and she said that nowadays it is better to disown the sons after marriage. Going by the disowning notices  in the newspapers, I was not totally surprised, but I insisted that she elaborate. She said that she had seen one of her friends being implicated in fasle dowry cases (498a)  and heard of several others. The trend was rapidly increasing in urban India, where the daughter in laws put false cases if the husband and his family doesnt dance to her tune. I asked her if she was prepared to live away from her only child in her old age. With her voice breaking she said “beta ! is kanoon ki wajah se main apne pote potiyon ke saath jee bhar ke khel bhi nahi paungi. Agar kuch ulta seedha ho gaya to is umar mein court kachari ke chakkar kaun lagaega” (Due to this law, I wont be able to play with my grandsons/granddaughters to my hearts content. If something bad happens (ie if they are implicated in a false case) I cant afford to run around the courts with my age.)

So, here was a well educated family with good values and the only practical solution that they had was to break the family. Such is the terror of this law. The sad part is that there is no provision by which the innocent can safegaurd themselves. The daughter in law can implicate any member of the family at any time, regardless of the length of the marriage. Some have done it within a day of marriage, some have done it after 16 years of marriage and some have even done it after divorce.

The anti-dowry law has transformed marriage, which was supposed to be a happy occasion into one where the husband and his family fear being incarcerated if the wife decides to file a false complaint against them for any frivolous reason. The law compels the police officer to take action and if an innocent person is jailed, it only breeds hatred and disgust in him/her for the injustice meted out. After a person has been falsely accused, he/she would not be very willing to live with the person who put false charges with them. Then its a fight to the end. You will be surprised at how many people I have come across who refused to take back their wives after they filed a false 498a. And I have come across many many instances, where the wives deeply regret using the provisions of this law, but the family is too paranoid to accept them. As so aptly described in GodFather – “You get only once chance to prove your loyalty”. These are the cases where the marriage would have worked out BUT for this law. However, there are numerous instances, where the wive used this law to get back with her lover and more often to extract as much money from the husband as they could. The innocent husbands, who were otherwise productive members of the society, after being falsely implicated by this law, get traumatized and scarred for life.

So, to avoid the consequences of being hit by this torpedo the old parents decide to live separately much to the glee of the daugher in law. However, the children and grandchildren miss out on the experience and wisdom of the older generation and the aged parents suffer because there is no one to take care of them. The indian culture places a lot of respect and trust in the elders and this law is chewing away at the basic foundation of the society. Strong family values will start to erode and soon our culture and heritage will be lost as the generations start moving away from each other.

The Domestic Violence Act of India – The death blow to harmonious marriages

October 30, 2006

Nowadays, marriages are tough. It takes a lot of love, understanding and patience to make a marriage work. Marriages are based on trust. Once the trust is broken, it is extremely hard to make the marriage work.

The Domestic violence Act Of India, under the garb of “women welfare and protection” is an attempt to create a society where men are robbed of all their rights. The law makes it very easy to escalate the domestic problems in daily life to such a level that it eventually leads to a breakdown in marriage. 

From time to time, differences arise in marriages. Two people who love each other and are in general happy with each other, sometimes behave in a hurtful way. This is true for both the men and the women. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, people do mistakes and regret it later.

 This law makes it impossible for a woman to rectify her mistake. By making such a one sided extreme law, women will be tempted to use it against their husbands. The law lends itself to such easy misuse that women, on the strength of this law will try to teach a lesson to their husbands by filing frivolous and false cases. The husband will always feel the heat and feel threatened by his wife.

The fact is that if anyone feels cornered and threatened in a marriage, its the beginning of the end. The Domestic Violence Bill of India does exactly that. It gives sweeping powers to females and takes away all the rights of men. It imposes a lot of repsonsibiity on men, without giving them anything in return. For the women, it gives lots of rights without asking them to be responsible.

This is gender bias at its worst. It victimizes men and the law has been so poorly drafted that it will get blatantly misused. Many innocent men will suffer because of this law. 

 I have the following questions for the Govt of India

1. Why is there no protection for men from domestic violence ? If you say that not many cases occur, then do you have any statistics ? And regardless, if a man suffers domestic violence, shouldnt the law protect him as well ?

2. DO you think women are capable of violence ?  [ Just today, there was a news item that a woman killed her husband to get his property so that she can live with her lover]. Since it is well proven that women are capable of violence, shouldn’t the man be protected as well ?

3. So, according to the law, if a man insults a woman, he can be jailed for a year. So, it is domestic violence if a man insults a woman. How about if a woman insults a woman ? Is not necessary to protect a woman from another woman? Also, is it not domestic violence if a woman insults a man ?

4. According to the law, if a woman asks for money from a man and if the man is not able to provide it, then the woman can get the man jailed. However, the law prevents the man from asking for money from the woman. Isn’t this economic abuse of the men ? If a woman uses this law to blackmail and extort money from her husband, what protection does a husband have ?

5. My wife says that if I dont kick my parents out of the house, she will file a domestic violence case against me. What protection do I have under this law ?

6. My wife says that if I do not transfer all my property to her name, then I am economically abusing her and she will file a domestic violence case against me. What protection do I have under the law ?

7. My wife is having an affair and she threatens that if I try to prevent her from meeting her lover, then she says that she will use the domestic violence law against me, as according to the law, I am preventing her from meeting a person. I do not want a divorce because I have small children and I do not want them to suffer. Please tell me what should I do ?

8. My wife wants to go a 5 star hotel every day for dinner. When I object, she says that I am not providing her food and hence she will file the domestic violence case against me. I have tried to reason with her, but she is not willing to budge. Please tell me what should I do ?

9. This law gives tremendous rights to women and a lot of reponsibilities to man. What responsibilities or liabilities do women have under this law ?

10. DO you realize that there is generally some amount of friction in most marriages and by giving such absolute power to women, you are victimizing men. The results are going to be more divorces in which vindictive women will frame false cases on men, take away their property and put them in jail. Many many children will grow up in broken up families and will suffer. Ms. Minister, is this your idea of women and chilren welfare ?

11. Due to the poor drafting of this law, this law will be misused heavily and many many innocent men will go to jail and their lives will be destroyed. Do you have any message for them ?

12. Is there a provision that a woman who misuses the law will be punished as severely as a man is punished ?

13. You say that why will a woman file a case if she is happy in the marriage. In other words you are saying, that the man is at the mercy of the woman. If she is not happy for any reason, she can teach a lesson to her husband by filing a false case, reagardless of whether any violence occured or not. Where is the justice here ?

14. DO you think that men are second class citizens ? If not, then why have they not been given any rights in this law. Are you planning to release a similar law for men ? If you are not because you are the minister for women welfare, then is there a minister for men welfare ?

15. Do you know if any other country has a domestic violence law, in which only the woman can file a case on man, if she is abused, but the man can not file a case on woman if he is abused ?

16. Do you think this law will promote domestic harmony in the society ? DOnt you think that husband will be victimized by the wife who can use these threats to get her way ?

It takes a man as well as a woman to make a marriage work. Such nasty one sided laws will only promote marital discord and will lead to more divorces, where men will be victimized and destroyed.  But then, alas, the people who are trying to make this law are women who do not have a good family life. Most of them are either unmarried or divorced, so they do not realize what it takes to make a happy family. And they are tyring to destroy the happy families of others as well.

Eventually, the children suffer – both boys and girls. They will grow up in a fatherless world and there will be no MAN in their life to help them build the strength of their character and to teach them to take responsibility and take care of families.